Investing in their community. That was paramount for Thomas Gilanyi and his Native Sportsbook Solutions co-founder Randall Crowe when they created the company in 2020.
How to do so? Partner with Native American tribes after seeing the potential for growth in the tribal sports betting market by providing a sports betting platform and the technology around it. In the end, the hope is that these gaming operators invest savings into their communities. Crowe is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
“Back in 2019, sports betting was beginning to be deployed by tribal operators in the US, as PASPA was repealed in 2018,” Gilanyi told NCSharp. “Randall and I noticed that all [business to business] providers were deploying a European, commercial approach to tribal operators that did not have the ability to customize for the specific needs of tribal operators that tend to reside in non-urban areas.
“The result was a pricing model and operational model that either forced tribal operators into contracts in which they lost money, and hence the Native communities they supported lost money, or they did not implement sports betting and lost out on the next wave of expansion in the gaming industry.”
How tribal sportsbooks can reduce costs
Based in Cherokee, the site of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, one of three tribal casinos in North Carolina that allows sports betting, Native Sportsbook Solutions has spent the last three years developing what it calls a “full turnkey solution for sports betting and iGaming,” Gilanyi said.
Now with 10 employees, the company’s goals are to put money back into tribal operators’ coffers by cutting costs up to 50% with the “lowest fees and lowest revenue share in the industry.” Gilanyi said it is very important for him to ensure that tribes have more profitability by using Native Sportsbook Solutions’ platform.
“Since we developed our technology in-house and are not dependent on third-party tech providers, as many of our competitors are, we are able to customize the platforms to the specific needs of each operator,” he said.
International iGaming tech certification key to growth
In February, the only Native American-owned sportsbook provider in the country received international certification for its technology, allowing it to be compliant with sports betting industry standards in “almost all jurisdictions globally.”
“We were able to reverse engineer how other B2Bs operated and found gaps that we were able to address through our in-house technology and risk management solutions,” Gilanyi said. “Once we established that, a new approach could be deployed in tribal country.”
What tribes will Native Sportsbook Solutions target?
In June, Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation approving mobile sports betting in North Carolina. While wagering will not go live until 2024, Gilanyi sees an opportunity to work with tribes in the Tar Heel State. Currently, the company has one contract in Wisconsin and two other states.
Native Sportsbook Solutions’ first foray into helping tribal operators will be with Sevenwinds Casino in Wisconsin, and Gilanyi plans to launch that partnership before the 2024 Super Bowl. He said the company is closing on a contract in North Dakota and has secured two letters of intent to help California tribes that will be executed when that state legalizes mobile sports betting.
“Since the tech stack and all operational infrastructure resides in house, we are able to provide top tier solutions for a lesser price – putting more money back into the hands of the Native communities that tribal operators support,” he said.
Gilanyi said he has a five-year goal of signing 31 contracts and a 10-year growth plan that aims for 50 contracts of varying licensing classes.
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